January 3, 2023

236: Say What Needs To Be Said with Kim Scott

We’ve all heard it a million times, especially as kids: “Be nice!” Most people have been taught that if you don’t have something kind to say, don’t say anything at all. However, what do you do when you have necessary feedback to give, but it’s not positive? This is where radical candor comes into play. The goal is to always speak with both love AND truth – at the same time.

Today’s guest is Kim Scott. Kim is the author of Just Work and Radical Candor. Kim was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and other tech companies. She was a member of the faculty at Apple University and before that led AdSense, YouTube, and DoubleClick teams at Google.

Kim and I talk about how to give productive feedback using her famous Radical Candor model. We talk about why giving feedback is so important even if it’s uncomfortable, and how to solicit feedback most effectively.

Members of the Modern Manager community get 10% Off The Feedback Loop Course. Starring David Alan Grier, Kim Scott, and a cast of eccentric characters, The Feedback Loop workplace comedy series and e-course teach Radical Candor’s proven feedback framework in a way that’s fresh, fun, and effective to improve your communication skills at work and in life. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: Give Your Team Members the Gift of Feedback


Radical Candor Website: www.radicalcandor.com

Just Work Website: www.justworktogether.com

Radical Candor Twitter: https://twitter.com/candor

Just Work Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustWorkBook

Personal Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimballScott

Key Takeaways:

  • The idea of radical candor is that you care personally and challenge directly at the same time. This means saying what needs to be said in a way that demonstrates caring while ensuring the other person clearly gets the message.
  • Obnoxious aggression (being direct without caring), manipulative insincerity (being indirect without caring), and ruinous empathy (being indirect with caring) each fail to help someone receive the feedback they need to be successful in their role.
  • If you avoid giving feedback when things are small, they often snowball and then it’s much harder to give the feedback because it’s become huge.
  • When you don’t give feedback, you are doing the other person a disservice. You are inhibiting them from the opportunity to grow, improve or change.
  • If someone doesnt get the message, keep saying it in new ways that become more direct until they get it.
  • You don’t have to build this deep relationship with someone before you can offer radical candor. Caring personally just looks like noticing someone’s humanity in the moment.
  • Ask for feedback by coming up with one specific question that you can regularly ask your people. Then pause long enough for them to answer. Then listen with the intent to understand, not respond.



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